Vintage Places in Westwood, California
20th Century Fox Studios
Founded in 1925 by William Fox, this historic studio turned out nearly as many classic films as MGM in the 30s and 40s, making it MGM's longtime rival. Fox may not have possessed the number of superstars that MGM held in its arsenal, but the ones they did have were dazzling-like Shirley Temple (who at five years old was not only an amazing tap dancer but the studio's biggest moneymaker), pinup girl Betty Grable, Technicolor queen Carmen Miranda, handsome Gregory Peck, and smoldering Elizabeth Taylor. But Fox's most famous asset came in the 1950s-in the buxom-blond shape of Marilyn Monroe, who made some films here in the lot, including All About Eve, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and The Seven Year Itch. Sadly, Fox does offer guided tours, but even driving by can be exciting if you're a fan of it's colorful history. If you do happen to get invited one day, make sure you dine in their marvelous private commissary-and check out the walls painted with an original 1930s mural depicting all the studio's most glamourous stars.
Address and phone number: 10201 Pico Blvd., Century City. (310) 396-1000.
20th Century Fox Studios Website
Apple Pan looks a lot like the diner where Joel McCrea woos Veronica Lake in his 1941 Hollywood farce, Sullivan Travels. This is the quissential, family-owned L.A. diner, and for a better visual, imagine if Dorothy's white clapboard house from The Wizard of Oz was dropped 60s years into the future by a time-traveling tornado-across the street from a Godzilla-sized mall. Apple Pan is everything that it was when it first opened in 1947, including the 90-year-old waiters. So stop in, be prepared to wait a little, and order up some of the best old-fashioned diner food on the Westside-or in L.A. for that matter. Los Angelenos love their hickory burgers, tuna salad sandwhiches, legendary banana cream and apple pies, and their farm-fresh ingredients. All the details here are totally World War II style-they serve your grub on the little brown paper plates after they've wrapped your order in wax paper, and even the sodas are served in paper cones. They will be serving "Quality Forever," as their original neon sign states.
Address and phone number: 10801 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 475-3585.
Learn more about The Apple Pan restaurant
First opened in 1963, this is L.A.'s most Godfella's-style Italian joint. Matteo's ambience is East Coast meets Old Hollywood-where the booths are red leather, there's always a Rat Pack soundtrack playing, and the dimly lit decor includes Christmas lights and wine bottles. They are famous for their old-school, hearty Italian dishes, like mozzarella marinara, chicken parmigiana, linguini with clams, and veal Milanese (Frank Siantra's favorite). It was Frank Sintra's favorite L.A. restaurant, and he always sat in the same back-corner booth, which is now marked by one of his own abstract paintings.
Address and phone number: 2321 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 475-4521.
Matteo's Restaurant Website
UCLA And It's Film and Television Archive
On the lovely UCLA campus, which was built in 1928, yoiu can either hang out, fondly remembering your college days. Their calendar is filled with everything from rare 60s French New Wave to German Expressionist horror films of the 1920s. They also have an annual festival of features they themselves have restored in their film preservation facilities.
Did you know that 50 percent of all films produced in the United States pre-1950 have disappeared forever? That number grows daily, with 90 percent of our country's films currently deteriorating from age. Even our earliest television shows are on deteriorating tapes, but lucky for us, the UCLA Film and Television Archive has committed itself to the preservation of these invaluable moving images.
The James Bridges Theater
1409 Melnitz Hall, UCLA Campus, Westwood. (310) 206-8013.
UCLA Film and Television Archive Website
Westwood Memorial Cemetery
This is where our country's most beloved legends lie. This is Marilyn Monroe's final resting place, the saddest of all the lonely starlets. When she died in 1962, at the young age of 36, her former husband, baseball legend Joe Dimaggio, chose this as her resting place because it was secluded. He had red roses placed in her crypt three times a week from her death until 1982. Her grave now lies in the shadow of (ironically) a movie theater. If in cemeteries all the spirits would sip champagne on their tombstones after midnight, this place would have the most otherwordly guest list. Those who would surely be on the V.I.P. list would be Natalie Wood, Dean Martin, film director John Cassavetes, Truman Capote, Peggy Lee, Frank Zappa, Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys, Walter Matthau, Jack Lemmon, and director Billie Wilder.
Address and phone number: 1218 Glendon Ave., Westwood. (310) 474-1579.